Thursday, September 22, 2011
Valley of the Sun -The Saying of the Seers EP
When I was visiting family in Kentucky earlier this summer I had no idea I was so close to such noteworthy new stoner rock. Cincinnati was just a hop, skip and a jump from where I was and I would have happily taken the short drive north for a chance to see Valley of the Sun. The Ohio rockers (Ryan McAllister, Aaron Boyer, Ryan Ferrier) have come out with a fantastic 5-track ep, The Saying of the Seers.
Before anything else, first let me say that The Sayings of the Seers have some of the best vocals I've ever heard in my favored style of rock. That's right. I said it: EVER.
Sometimes when I'm rockin' out I could care less about the singer. Now and then I don't even care if there's vocals at all. That's how I can like instrumental bands so much. It can be all about the music for me, but this guy (Ferrier) is in a class all his own so I just had to say something. Like electrifying. Or wondrous. How about moving? That's works, too. I love it when a band's vocalist can make me feel something deep down in my core.
Not to take anything away from the top-notch musicianship, but I got goosebumps about 2 minutes into "Riding the Dunes", an appropriately-named desert rock song. After relaxing me with some low, soothing and comforting "Woah"s and "Yeah"s, Ferrier voice astonishes me as he climbs way up the scale when the real riffage begins. I'm flabbergasted. He has amazing range and can hold a note for more than a few seconds.
It won't surprise you to know that "Riding the Dunes" (6:03) is my most beloved song on The Saying of the Seers, and it also the last. You'll find that I say that a lot. How my favorite is the last song on an album. Maybe there's a reason for that. Hmmm. Anyway, I included a link to it so you could listen (I know, the title is wrong). The beginning is great, too, but just wait until the "Woah"s and they "Yeah"s are done. You'll hear what I mean. You might even get chills like I did. I hope so.
The Saying of the Seers starts with an exclamation for me, much like it ends. The fuzzed guitars and heavy drums on "Hearts Aflame" immediately get my head nodding and then I'm introduced to Ferrier's vocal prowess. How do you do? You do it with style, man. I have an instant feeling this ep is gonna be another winner.
And I'm right. The up-tempo boogie treat, "Deep Light Burns", while it's the shortest, is one of my favorites 'cause of...you guessed it...the cowbell. I'm a sucker for a cowbell, even if it's only at the beginning of the song. "Mariner's Tale" (4:17) has more of a southern-style rock groove to me and "Aquarius" includes a Loud Love atmosphere, if you feel where I'm coming from.
Overall, I think Valley of the Sun give a stellar performance on The Sayings of the Seers, from beginning to end. The only problem I have is there wasn't enough to fill me up. I'm greedy like that.
You can listen to The Sayings of the Seers and snatch up a digital copy for yourself off Bandcamp. If you're a fan of superb rock music, I'm sure you will. Or you have already. There you can also get a free version of Valley of the Sun's self-titled 2010 debut ep.